50GB of Free Online Storage with Box.net Promotion

There’s a saying that goes something like any publicity is good publicity. Right? So how can a promotion of a company offering you a free 50GB of storage lifetime account sound bad? Just recently Box.net, an online file storage company similar to that of Dropbox, offered a crazy promotion for all iPhone IOS users that if they signup from now until December 2 2011, they will automatically get promoted to a 50GB storage account for the lifetime of their account! Seriously, how can this offer go wrong for so many people? Well, many users are complaining that this is simply a bait and switch. Box.net lures users in with a sweet promotion of some kind (the 50GB storage) but then once the users signup, they then realize they are severely limited in what they can do with that storage space. Well, I was curious as to see this for myself so let’s have at it!

Surprisingly, nothing of this promotion can be seen on Box.net’s homepage. Instead, promotion information can be found at a blog post from the company. Anyways, the details is simple enough for anyone to understand. In order to get the free 50GB of free online storage space for life, simply download the Box.net app on your iPhone, create a user account and that’s it. Existing users can simply log-in with their existing Box.net account and they should see the increase in their storage space. It’s that simple. I don’t have an account with Box.net since I’m a Dropbox user so this promotion makes it extra enticing for me to try out something new.

  1. Simply download the Box.net app from the Apple Store.
  2. Signup for a free account by providing an email address and password. That’s it.
  3. Enjoy your 50GB of storage.
RegisterRegister 2Register 3

Box on the iPhone

The Box application on the iPhone is easy enough and intuitive to use for most people. You have 5 different tabs at the bottom that corresponds to different views. You have Updates, All Files, Saved, Upload and Settings. Box allows you to save/download individual files directly onto your iPhone in case you don’t have a Internet connection wherever it is you are going. The Upload tab is very sparse. You can either choose to take a picture with your camera and upload it to your account or choose a picture from your existing library. Notice I said “a” picture. Box limits you to uploading a single picture at a time. This makes it a complete pain to use for users who have stored a lot of pictures on their iPhone devices. Want to upload a video you’ve captured? Sorry. Box will not let you do that. This fact alone is very limiting.

I believe you are not allowed to upload at all on iPad devices! Hopefully they change this in the near future.

Box InterfaceBox Upload

Excel, Word and PowerPoint presentations you upload via Box.net’s website can be viewed directly in the Box application on your iPhone. Obviously, you won’t be able to edit them. Another crippling feature for the Box application on iPhone devices is that you are not allowed to create folders to organize your files. Want to delete a file in your account? Sorry. Box will deny you that basic privilege as well! Everything must be done via Box.net’s website. In fact, almost every single management task can only be managed inside the Box website and not on the iPhone app itself.


Box on the Web

Once you’re logged in through your browser, you can now perform management tasks on your files. These include creating folders, deleting files, sending files to Gmail, and creating new documents for collaboration. Sad to say it, many options are not available unless you upgrade. As it stands right now, you are limited to only a 100MB file size upload. This limitation makes Box all but useless to many people as they can’t upload larger videos or other documents. Other big limitations include no direct linking and version history. This eliminates Box as being an online photo hosting service, which I am currently using Dropbox as. Of course if you upgrade, you get to upload individual files up to 2GB in size and other features are then unlocked. Dropbox does not have these limitations even for free user accounts.

Web Interface

No Desktop Syncing Application

One of the biggest issue for users who signed up on the 50GB Box promotion found out shortly that Box does not offer a desktop syncing application. With Dropbox, you have a special Dropbox folder that allows you to drag files in to it and have it be automatically uploaded to your account. This also makes syncing a whole lot easier. Well, not with Box. Unless of course, you upgrade. By now you should be familiar with that theme. 50GB is enticing but in order to do useful things with that huge storage space, please pay up.

Comparing Box.net to Dropbox

There is no debate about this issue at all. If you are looking for a free online file syncing service, Dropbox annihilates Box in that area. In terms of offering the most storage space, Box does win this one as long you signup for an account on your iPhone before December 2 2011.  However, offering mass online storage space is useless to many people if you restrict what users can do with that space! As it stands right now, the 50GB of free storage offered by Box is simply just that: 50GB of online storage space. You can upload your files and have a peace of mind that you can access them wherever you are as long as you have an Internet connection. But if you want to do anything more, you have to pay up. Dropbox, while offering you less free storage space, allows you to do a heck lot more with that space and for free as well.

Defending Box.net

All the negative things I have said so far about Box.net, as the free user account goes, stands true. You are severely restricted in what you can do. Most of the things I have mention are also issues many other people have made clear in their user reviews of the Box app for the iPhone. However, what these people have to realize is that Box did not have to offer this promotion at all! Users are expecting a lot more things for free today because other similar companies who can afford to do so sets the standard. This here is the perfect example. Dropbox will always be compared with Box.net because they offer the same service. Dropbox gives users a lot of features for free. Do some people stop and think that maybe Box can’t afford to do that as a company? I simply am not going to use my Box account because of the limitations but I still applaud Box for offering up this promotion. 50GB of storage for life, not for a month or a year, to every single user who signs up on their iPhone device is crazy.

I fear for today’s society because there are so many users that consider this promotion to be a scam or hoax by Box.net. Are you kidding me? You may call them deceiving and whatnot but a scam? Box.net clearly defines what you are and not able to do on their pricing webpage located here. Here is what I bet happened. Users immediately go word that Box.net is offering a crazy promotion. All they have to do is signup for an account on the iPhone app and instantly be awarded with 50GB of online storage. The user immediately does so without taking the time and effort to look at what they are getting into and once they realize many of the features are locked to them as a free user, they feel cheated and scammed out of providing their email address. I’m sure you folks reading this that have a fair judgment of things know what I am trying to get at here.

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